Gaels’ great expectations

The Journal’s sports editors tee up the upcoming season for the fall-term Gaels.
The Journal’s sports editors tee up the upcoming season for the fall-term Gaels.
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In preparation for the Journal’s Dec. 3 fall-term report card, the sports staff evaluates season outlooks for each team and what they will have to do to achieve an A mark.

Football

Last year (grade, record): A-, 8-0 regular season, out in first round of playoffs.

Significant losses: running back Mike Giffin, defensive tackle Dee Sterling, middle linebacker Thaine Carter, tight end Scott Stinson, safety Jay Oduwole.

For top grades, the football team needs to show more in the playoffs than in past years by reaching the Yates Cup final. That said, without the big-game players they lost to the CFL and graduation, they will be hard-pressed to get past the semifinals.

Women's Lacrosse

Last year: A, 9-3 regular season, fourth straight OUA silver medal.

Significant losses: defender Ruth McArthur, defender Jodey Therriault, midfielder Carley Miller.

The bridesmaid will finally have to become the bride and bring home the gold medal. Despite the loss of player-coaches Ruth McArthur and Jodey Therriault, the women’s lacrosse team is capable of pulling off the feat.

Men's Rugby

Last year: A-, 5-0-1 regular season, second straight silver medal.

Significant losses: fullback Colin Alexander, loosehead prop Graham Watt, flanker Alexandre Nemetz-Sinchein.

Men’s rugby has to overcome the hurdle the Brock Badgers continue to put up in the finals and win OUA gold. The rugby program has the depth to make their losses manageable. The gold medal is within reach for this team.

Women's Rugby

Last year: C, 2-3 regular season, out in first round of playoffs.

Significant losses: centre Teddi Firmi, lock Jennifer Redwood.

Women’s rugby needs to make the semifinals this season. Unfortunately, the team wasn’t very strong last year and we don’t predict many major improvements in the side. It’s tough to envision them making the playoffs again.

Women's Soccer

Last year: A-, 8-4-2 regular season, lost in OUA semifinal.

Significant losses: goalkeeper Katie McKenna.

For top marks this team will need to win OUA gold. Last year’s team was young but successful. Although they lost captain and OUA second-team All-Star goalkeeper Katie McKenna, they shouldn’t be affected. Gold is within their sights.

Men's Cross Country

Last year: B-, sixth at OUA, didn’t qualify for nationals.

Significant losses: None

The men need to place top three in Ontario and bring home a medal from nationals. The return of veteran Matt Hulse from a teaching placement should provide the runners with the necessary edge to reach the podium at the OUA championships. The young team acquired enough experience last year to reach the top five at nationals.

Womens' Cross Country

Last year: B, sixth in OUA, 10th in CIS.

Significant losses: Leslie Sexton.

For top grades, the team needs to place top three in Ontario and top five in Canada. Despite losing top performer Leslie Sexton, the team maintains a strong core of athletes and should continue to post high finishes on a provincial and national level.

Women's Field Hockey

Last year: C-, 2-9-3 season, didn’t make playoffs.

Significant losses: defender Mary-Anne Reid.

For top grades the team needs to get above the .500 mark and make the playoffs. There’s no reason to expect significant improvement on last year’s achievements. The addition of Tindall Field at the end of last season gives the team a home field for the first time in five years and a better place to practice.

Men's Golf

Last year: B+, fifth in Ontario, Forbes second in OUA and won three tournaments.

Significant losses: Patrick Forbes.

The golf team needs to repeat last year’s achievements. The loss of star Patrick Forbes makes that unlikely.

Men's Rowing

Last year: A+, first in Ontario, third in Canada.

Significant losses: Rares Crisan, Andrew Joyce, Colin Sutherland, Mike Wilkinson, Nick Pratt.

The rowers need a repeat of last year’s performance. The loss of their top rowers might make for some lower finishes.

Women's Rowing

Last year: A, first in Ontario, second in Canada.

Significant losses: Kristine Matusiak, Hannah Humphries, Rebecca McWatters.

After two years of strong results and a strong core of returning players, it’s a safe to put a bill down on the women to place at the provincial and national level.

Men's Soccor

Last year: C-, 4-6-4, out in first round of playoffs.

Significant losses: midfielder Steve Irish, midfielder Graeme Webber, goalkeeper Tyler Lewis.

For top marks, the soccer team needs to take the OUA championship this year. With a largely unchanged, experienced squad, they are capable of doing so.

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